Students’ Stories

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Virtuous Bicycle
STUDENTS’ STORIES


FEATURED STUDENT
Learn-to-Ride Student:
Jae-eun

Student's Stories - I learned to ride!

Lots of adults have given it a try at one point or another. Usually a well-meaning friend offered to teach them. Results may vary. .

Jae-eun told me, “My husband loves to ride, and he tried to teach me.

“Oh! Wonderful!” I said. “How did it go?”

We fought” she confided.

My lesson with Jae-eun was a pleasure. She was focused and receptive to the process, and though a little nervous at the beginning, she progressed very quickly and was riding well at the end of one lesson. (Maybe some of her husband’s lessons stuck!)

I just followed each step Lance asked me to try and to my surprise I was riding a bike after one hour!  I didn’t know learning a bike could be this easy and fun. -Jae-eun, Aug 2014

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Learn-to-Ride Student: Ben

Student's Stories - I Learned to Ride

In his profile Ben said,I am nervous but excited about the possibility of finally learning to ride. My dad loves to ride and it would mean so much to him and to me if I could join him when he rides.”

Ben took a series of lessons, wanting to be proficient when he went on his first ride with his dad. Beyond balancing and pedaling, we spent time focused on details like sharp confident starts, reliable organized stops, and turning. Ben also got an intro to gearing.

I am in my early 30’s and had never had a chance to learn to ride a bike before meeting with Lance. He was patient, fun and clearly invest in my success all of which were traits I really appreciated. -Ben, Aug 2014

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Learn-to-Ride Buddies: Sonia and Priya

Sonia was headed off to college and wanted to learn to ride before she left for school. Her sister joined her in a pair of “Buddies” lessons, and both learned to ride.

Dear Lance,

Priya and I would like to thank you for your patience in teaching us how to bike.
You are an amazing teacher and we loved learning from you.
We will keep in mind all the different things you have taught us.
Maybe one day when I am back from college, we will email you and see if we can go on our next level biking lesson.
Thank you for everything.
Sincerely,
Sonia and Priya
 – August 2014

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Learn-to-Ride Student: Gussie

Student's Stories - I Learned to Ride

Gussie was on her way to a summer program in Europe where the kids were going to “get around on bikes”. Gussie did great, getting the basics on her first lesson, then taking a follow up lesson a few days later to reinforce and advance her skills before her trip.

I knew immediately that my daughter was in good hands. Lance is patient, methodical and effective. Like the Dog Whisperer for bike riders… I would highly recommend him! – Dana, Gussie’s Mom, June 2014

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Re-Learn-to-Ride Student: Natalie

Student's Stories - I Learned to Ride Natalie’s boyfriend got her started a few years back, but she quickly ran into “difficulties” and stopped riding. Now, she wanted to enter the Mighty Montauk Trialthlon, but needed to get her bike handling skills up to the task. Here’s a few clips from her second lesson – Since that day, she’s bought a new Jamis road bike, ridden in the park for training, and just completed the tri and was happy with her biking performance.

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Learn-to-Ride Student: Emma

On my rides now I realize how much I learned in those lessons . .

Student's Stories - I Learned to Ride In her profile Emma wrote:

I did have a bike as a kid (age 9) and I rode it around my neighbourhood a little on quiet roads. I was never very confident and after a fall I was put off.

Many adults have these stories of shaky beginnings. With Emma, I approached her training as though she’d never been on a bike. We needed to put her childhood mishap behind us, replacing those bad memories with solid, adult level, bike handling skills.
After a couple of sessions together, Emma wrote to me:

I wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that Steve and I did a few laps of the lower loop in Central park last night to practice hills, gears, avoiding pedestrians and riding with another person. Although I was really nervous at first, after the first lap I felt confident and more importantly safe! Steve was very impressed and said I looked to be totally in control of the bike. Anyway, I guess I just wanted to say thank you for giving me the confidence to be able to go for a bike ride with my husband. I doubt I will ever be as into cycling as he is, but knowing that we can get out and enjoy his favourite hobby together is a really nice feeling. We are already planning a number of rides together over the coming weeks. 

Now, she’s bought a new bike, she’s been riding with her husband, gaining experience, getting stronger and better with each ride. LEARN • RIDE • IMPROVE • ENJOY! That’s the Virtuous Bicycle in action! WAY TO GO EMMA!

For anyone who is nervous about learning or re-learning how to ride a bike Lance is your man! Don’t let your friends take you out, put you on a bike and push you down a hill. You may (or may not) figure it out but most likely you will never get on again! Lance was infinitely patient and paced our sessions appropriately to build my confidence in my own abilities. I was never pushed too far outside my comfort zone, but I could still see measurable improvements. On my rides now I realise how much I learned in those lessons that has certainly saved me from making costly mistakes. I am now able to confidently ride laps of Central Park negotiating hills, pedestrians and traffic and most importantly I am enjoying it. Thanks Lance for opening up a whole new world for me. My husband still can’t believe that I am finally out riding with him!

– Emma, April 7, 2014

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Profile: Adrian (on a Citibike!) Thirty-something Adrian rode as a youngster and into his college years as well, but he wanted more info before entering NYC traffic.

“I’m mainly interested in learning how to ride citibike safely on crosstown and small streets, and in protected bike lanes on the avenues. I’ve been riding on the hudson river and east river greenways and I’m comfortable riding there, but am intimidated by city traffic. I haven’t ridden on the street yet.”

Adrian attended a VB seminar at Ride Brooklyn, and booked a Traffic Skills lesson. After a brief evaluation of his bike handling skills (excellent) we headed out onto NYC streets, experiencing a range of street and bike lane configurations. We stopped frequently to strategize and evaluate, using existing conditions as teaching opportunities. Adrian rode his Citibike for the lesson, a first for Virtuous Bicycle. We had no trouble staying within the 45 minute trip-time and re-docked for more time when we passed stations. The entire session was a great success and Adrian is “VB Approved”.

Student's Stories - I Learned to Ride in Traffic!

Adrian – Well positioned and VB Approved!

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Prepping for her first Triathlon
Minerva – BEFORE
I’m so happy to have found your website. I learned to ride a bike 1 year ago but have only been able to bike about 10 rides total. I have been able to bike around the Central Park loop a few times. When I visited Austin, TX I had to walk the bike when the trail turned to just a sidewalk along the highway. I am able to ride a bike but I am extremely nervous around other people/dogs/cars. I was determined to learn to ride a bike last year because I am participating in the NYC Triathlon this summer…. even though the triathlon’s ride is closed off to others and everyone is going the same direction, I have yet to be confident enough to ride with speed and efficiency. I hope you can help!

Student's Stories - I Learned to Ride for my first Triathlon

Minerva – honing her skills

Minerva – AFTER
New Orleans was great! We rented a hybrid and I rode in traffic in residential areas and shared lanes with cars on main roads. I was aware of my surroundings, checked for on-coming traffic, practiced riding with one hand (which greatly improved and was able to wipe sweat off my face and scratch my nose without jolting), and practiced a lot of start/stop while riding in traffic. My confidence as a bicyclist has greatly improved and I was not nervous at any point during my ride. We wound up riding ~22 miles Friday morning and missed the rain, thank goodness! I will keep practicing on my own and plan for one more lesson with you in a couple of weeks before the triathlon. Thank you so much for you guidance Lance!

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Student's Stories - I Learned to Ride in traffic!

After a decade long hiatus from city riding, Monica headed out on her new bike for a cruise around the UWS with Lance along for moral support.

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Ceci Learns to Ride

Student's Stories - I Learned to Ride

Ceci’s Reward! No one was ever more determined to succeed than Ceci!

Hello Lance, I am so proud of myself … Cycled 16 miles today and 7 each on Saturday and Sunday. Never thought cycling could be so much fun. I’ve made such great strides, I am much more confident and have much more control of the bike. Denis has been enjoying it as much as me, so this is our new shared hobby…. plus we will loose weight in the process. Thanks for teaching me to ride Lance! Ceci

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2 comments

  1. Aileen

    I contacted Lance about teaching my children, ages 20 and 17, to ride a bike. Although they had participated and excelled at many sports since childhood (basketball, soccer, swimming and softball, among others), they never really learned to bike ride. After contacting Lance, who was totally knowledgeable and understanding of all aspects of an adult learning to ride, we set up a lesson. My kids immediately connected with Lance and were riding on their own quickly. He seemed to ease them into it and there was no falling, not even any close calls. I’m so happy for them to have acquired this skill, which they can enjoy for a lifetime and also grateful to Lance for being such a patient and great teacher. I would recommend him to anyone interested in learning to ride a bike.

  2. Michael C

    My expectations for learning to ride a bike was far from realistic. I thought, after watching videos on Youtube, I could learn to ride a bike with some assistance from a friend. In my mind as an athletic 25 year old with iron clad determination, a bicycle will have no choice but to submit to my will in 30 minutes or less. However, after an hour of frustration, I was forced to reevaluate my self worth.

    Learning to ride with you (Lance) was a completely different experience than what I had attempted with my friend. Your systematic approach to teaching bike riding made learning to ride amazingly easy. The 3 hour lesson felt really natural, I can honestly now say that I feel very confident on a bike. The feeling of riding a bike is unlike anything I can think of! It’s not like being in a car, it’s more like flying! Thank you so much Lance! Best bike teacher ever!

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